What to do if High Winds are Affecting You


High winds can occur any time of year and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) wants all Californians to be aware, prepared and stay safe.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Cal OES are watching for high winds in parts of Southern California. Starting Thursday, April 25th into Monday, April 29th, wind gusts between 40-60 mph could impact Southern California’s coastal and inland regions.

High wind events can be caused by a variety of factors, including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, as well as simple changes in atmospheric pressure.

During high wind events, Cal OES coordinates responses and provides resources by prepositioning assets across the state to support local county partners. These resources include generators, comfort kits, and other necessities to help keep residents safe.

Dangerous wind speeds can directly impact your home, vehicles or family. Cal OES wants all Californians to be ready and prepared for a high-wind event.

During a high wind event:

  • Take cover next to a building or under a shelter.
  • Stay clear of roadways and train tracks, a gust may blow you into danger.
  • Use handrails when available on outdoor walkways.
  • Avoid elevated areas such as roofs.
  • Watch for flying debris, as street signs and tree limbs may become loose during strong winds.

If near downed power lines:

  • Never go near downed power lines, since high voltage wires may still be active despite being downed.
  • Avoid anything that may be touching downed power lines, including tree branches and vehicles.
  • Report downed power lines to your local utility emergency center and the police.

Driving during a high wind event:

  • Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down to a safe driving speed.
  • Stay a safe distance away from other vehicles as strong gusts may blow others into adjacent lanes.
  • Turn on your headlights if needed in case of blowing dust, sand, snow or rain.
  • Be cautious of strong winds suddenly moving your car.
  • Stay clear of high-profile vehicles or when towing a trailer, as these are more likely to be affected by high winds.
  • Watch for debris that may suddenly blow onto the roadway.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, pull over and park away from any trees, power lines or other tall obstacles that may fall onto your car.

Wind patterns can shift rapidly and unexpectedly, making it challenging for residents and emergency services to anticipate its course accurately. This unpredictability increases the urgency of preparedness and safety measures.

By understanding the role wind plays in these scenarios, individuals and communities can better prepare and take proactive steps to mitigate its impact.

For more resources on high wind, check out: